Extrusion has become a popular technology for processing and cooking of grains and pulses. Extrusion is a continuous high pressure and high-temperature cooking process that is used to produce ready-to-eat products such as instant porridge, breakfast cereals, puffed snacks, pet foods, and aqua feeds. Latest developments focused on meat analogues from plant-based proteins.

“Maize is an important staple food for about 1.2 billion people around the world. Africa uses 95% of its maize production as food.”


There is a wide variety of snacks available, e.g., curls, puffs, straw snacks etc. Most used raw material is maize, but other raw materials can also be used.

“The global extruded snacks market is estimated to account for USD 48.3 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 65.2 billion by 2026, at a growth rate of 4.4% per year”


Whole grains contain many healthful components, including dietary fibre, starch, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, lignans, and phenolic compounds, that have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases.

Instant porridge

Instant cereals is a category of food which consists of extruded grains, flavoured and formed into various shapes. They are rich in fiber which improves digestive function of our body, and can be fortified with vitamins and minerals.

“Instant porridge is mainly used as a pre-cooked breakfast. It is made by using maize, sorghum, cassava or wheat as a raw material.”

Plant protein

The need for consumable plant based products have increased the past few years. From soy mince to hake-like products. These products are produced from soya, chickpeas, lentils etc.

“Production of a portion of plant-based ‘meat’ uses 95% less land and 74% less water, and it emits about 87% less greenhouse gasses than using beef.”

Aqua feed

Aqua culture is a vast growing industry. The diets of farmed fish are specially designed to meet their nutritional needs and is unique to each species of fish. It contains all the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy and growing. It is extruded and are in the form of dried pellets. Maize, wheat, bran and rice is only a few of the raw materials used to extrude aqua feed.

There are 4 main aquafeed categories:

  • Floating feed
  • Slow-sinking feed
  • Sinking feed
  • Abalone feed

“The global aquaculture market size is expected to reach a value of up to USD 274.8 billion by 2025.”

Pet food

Pet food are specifically designed for the pet it is intended for, e.g. cats, dogs etc. Also, the recipes are developed for the size and age of the pets. By using twin-screw extruders, the ingredients are fully cooked to ensure the pet’s digestive system will absorb the needed nutrients.

“Twin-screw extruders enable you to consistently produce optimal quality, highly digestible and nutritional foods and feeds.”

Niche Products

Extrusion is an energy efficient, environmentally responsible food and feed processing method. However, the technology is not limited to food and feed and can be applied to other sectors as well. Extrusion is ideal for i.e utilising waste for nutritious animal feed, and creating safe pesticides.

Snail bait

Extrusion is used to produce granular snail bait pellets. It is developed to be placed around walkways and gardens to control snails. Metaldehyde is the active ingredient used in most snail baits. The active ingredients are mixed with milled maize or other starch-based products and a few other ingredients. It is then extruded into pellets, dried in a cooler and then packaged.

Waste extrusion

Chicken waste from hatcheries, mortalities at growing farms and abattoir chicken waste are sources of protein that are often discarded at cost. Extrusion provides a solution whereby the waste in combination with starch cereals are extruded to produce protein enriched animal feed base products. The final formulation of the feed is then developed around the base’s nutritional values.

The starch-waste mixture is extruded at 140 to 160 °C which ensures that all organisms or pathogens are destroyed. The extruded pellets are then dried in a dryer and cooled down before it is bagged. The final product is stable with low water activity and can be stored for up to a year.

Animal feed

Extrusion in the animal feed manufacturing process offers versatility and a wide range of applications. It’s primarily used to prepare food for animals such as cattle, swine, and poultry.

The goal of animal feed extrusion technology is to produce animal feed that is more digestible and nutritious. Fresh scent, freshness, and micro granularity characterise the final product. The expansion of food components frees up room for enzyme manufacturing, allowing starch chains and digestive enzymes to come into closer contact. The development of digestive elements enhances the edibility and digestibility of the diet.